Contributing Meaning to Research in Developmental Disabilities: Integrating Participatory Action and Methodological Rigor

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Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities

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Action research approaches reflecting power sharing by academic and community researchers, full engagement of community partners across all study phases, and ongoing commitment to partnership and capacity building have been increasingly embraced, particularly in research affecting marginalized populations. Findings suggest action research approaches have value in promoting the relevance, effectiveness, and translation of research, including experimental and other rigorous quantitative study. A relatively small proportion of action research has focused on individuals with developmental disabilities, and most studies have been qualitative. Strategies to address four major challenges in quantitatively focused action research in developmental disabilities are discussed: establishing connections between academic and community researchers, building understanding and trust, involving community researchers in technical aspects of research, and providing accommodations for community researchers and research participants. Implications and future research needs are discussed. © TASH.



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